September 5, 1915
Relief, Committee Asks Aid for Victims of Turkish Decrees
The American Armenian Relief Fund Committee has received two letters from Constantinople describing the horrors to which the Armenian Christians in Turkey are being subjected. One letter, dated June 15, says in part:
"The Turkish Government is executing today the plan of scattering the Armenians of the Armenian provinces, profiting from the troubles of the European powers and from the acquiescence of Germany and Austria."
"These people are being removed without any of their goods and chattels, and to places where the climate is totally unsuited to them. They are left without shelter, without food, and without clothing, depending only upon the morsels of bread which the Government will throw before them, a Government which is unable even to feed its own troops."
"It is impossible to read or to hear, without shedding tears, even the meager details of these deportations. Most of the families have traveled on foot, old men and children have died on the way, young women in child-birth have been left on mountain passes, and at least ten deaths a day are recorded among them even in their place of exile victims of hunger and sickness. It has not been possible as yet to forward any help to Sultanieh, owing to the interdiction of the Government, in spite of the efforts of the American Ambassador, whose philanthropic and generous endeavors in aid of the Armenians are gratefully acknowledged."
The second letter, dated July 12 says:
"The condition of the Armenians is extremely aggravated since my last letter. It is not the Armenian population of Cilicia only which has been deported wholesale and exiled to the deserts. Armenian communities from all the provinces of Armenia, from Erzerum, Trebizond, Sivas, Harput, Bitlis, Van, and Diarbekir, also from Samsun, Caesarea and Urfa - a population of 1,500,000 are marching today, the stick of forced pilgrimage in hand, toward the Mesopotamian wilderness, to live among Arabian and Kurdish savage tribes. Very few of them will be able to reach the spots designated for their exile, and those who do will perish from starvation, if no immediate relief reaches them."
"It is in the name of a starving population of 1,500,000 that urgent appeals should be made to the charitable public of America."
The Armenian Relief Fund Committee believes that unless immediate aid is forthcoming future efforts will be unavailing. The Treasurers of the committee are Brown Brothers Co. 59 Wall Street.
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